There is a little known musical entitled “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” by Alan Jay Lerner and Leonard Bernstein. It had a very short initial run of only 7 performances, and has rarely been done since. Set in the White House, it tells the stories of a number of the Presidents and families of presidents who lived in the White House from 1800 to 1900.
There is a lovely song within this musical called “Take Care of this House,” sung by a number of characters in the show including the characters of John and Abigail Adams. The lyrics include the following thoughts:
“Here in this shell of a house, this house that is struggling to be… is hope staring down at me…
Joy, joy is bright as a comet in flight… but hope isn’t easy to see.”
“Take care of this house and keep it from harm.”
The plea in this song is that this house, the White House, is more than just a building. It is a symbol of hope, dreams, and more. So caring for it is vitally important.
Caring for a house is more than just repairs. It is filling a building with people who care about one another, and making that house into a home. It is making it more than just a structure, but a thing of beauty emits a sense of welcome and calm to those who enter. It is especially important if you want that house to continue to be a sign of hope for those who see it.
We too have a house – a building that is the home of our faith community. Like the house in the song, our house is also a symbol of hope for many people. And we are at a point where we need to do some very basic, yet significant, care for our house.
Most of what we need to do falls under the category of building maintenance. But a lot of the items on our “care” to do list are BIG things – like replacing the roof on the sanctuary, replacing the window wings, repairing the steeple, and replacing our multiple air conditioning units. These are BIG tasks whose costs add up to a rather large amount of money.
As a result, we have entered into the “Under the Roof” capital campaign to raise funds to begin to address these tasks. We WANT to TAKE CARE OF OUR HOUSE. This is important to us because it is not just our house, it is GOD’S HOUSE.
The month of May is a very important month in the “Under the Roof” capital campaign. In May, the campaign Task Force will be hosting receptions to share more information regarding the repairs. On one of the Sundays in May, we will ask each one of you to prayerfully make your commitment and pledge to this campaign. Due to the large costs associated with these repairs, we do need to know what you will be contributing. The total amount of contributions will dictate what we can and cannot do to care for this house.
I have asked each one of you to pray our campaign prayer DAILY as our congregation moves through this process. I now ask each one of you to commit to attending one of the receptions in May so that you are fully aware of this project. I also ask you to begin praying to God about how you can best support the “Under the Roof” campaign.
Again, this is not just our house. It is God’s. It is a place where we bring our burdens and sorrows, and where we find welcome, comfort, and hope. Please join us as we move forward together to “take care of THIS house.”
Gracious and generous God, we thank you for the gifts you have given us.
Inspire us to share our good fortunes as we move to fulfill our capital campaign goals.
Motivate us to participate in the “Under the Roof” campaign through our deeds, prayers, financial support, time, talents, and love.
As we move forward to know, live and share your Word, lead us to continue Good Shepherd’s ministries in our church, community, and the world.
God of wisdom and strength, you know us better than we know ourselves. Guide our hearts towards thankful generosity and service.